Friedrich Holderlin

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Friedrich Hölderlin, pastel by Franz Karl Hiemer , 1792
Hoelderlin signature

Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin (born March 20, 1770 in Lauffen am Neckar , Duchy of Württemberg ; † June 7, 1843 in Tübingen , Kingdom of Württemberg ) was a German poet who was one of the most important poets of his time. In German literature around 1800, his work can not be assigned to either the Weimar Classicism or the Romantic era .


Parental home and early childhood

Friedrich Hölderlin was the son of the cloister master Heinrich Friedrich Hölderlin (1736–1772) and his wife, the pastor's daughter Johanna Christiana Hölderlin , born. Heyn (1748-1828). The parents' families of origin belonged to the social class of honesty . Hölderlin's mother came from a Wuerttemberg pastor family who relied on Regina Bardili , nee. Burckhardt (1599–1669), can be traced back.

As cloister steward from 1762, the father managed the property of the former Dominican convent in Lauffen am Neckar on a sovereign mandate . Friedrich was the firstborn child. In 1771 his next younger sister was born, but she died after a few months. Friedrich Hölderlin lost his father at the age of two. Six weeks after his death, Hölderlin's sister Maria Eleonora Heinrica was born, the "dear Rike", so named in Hölderlin's letters. In 1774, Hölderlin's mother married Johann Christoph Gok (1748–1779), a wine merchant and later also mayor of Nürtingen .

School and university years

Hölderlin's birthplace on a pencil drawing by Julius Nebel around 1800
Parental home in Lauffen am Neckar , January 2009

The family moved in Nürtingen to the so-called "Schweizerhof", a representative property with rural coverage in the Neckarsteige, which Gok had bought and renovated before he married, but which was only able to pay off his wife with money over time. The family lived in this house until 1798. Friedrich and his sister Heinrike (born August 15, 1772) had a brother, Karl Gok (1776–1849). When Hölderlin was nine years old, his stepfather also died, so that the only 31-year-old mother was widowed for the second time. Hölderlin spent his childhood and youth in the building known today as the Hölderlinhaus.

Residence of the Gok family, originally the Schweizerhof , today the Hölderlinhaus , Neckarsteige 1 in Nürtingen; Hölderlin kept returning here until 1798

Initially following his mother's wish to become a pastor, Hölderlin attended the Latin school in Nürtingen and then, after confirmation and passing the state examination , the Protestant monastery schools (grammar schools) in Denkendorf (Württemberg) and Maulbronn . During his studies at the University of Tübingen , as a scholarship holder in the Tübinger Stift , where u. a. Karl Philipp Conz was one of his teachers, he made friends with the later philosophers Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling . In addition, Holderlin was influenced during these years by his teacher Nathanael Köstlin , whom he admired like a father.

“The mother's house” in the Nürtinger Neckarsteige remained a place of residence for the vacancies during the academic years and in the following years again and again a refuge for Hölderlin, who was looking for a position in society. Here he also wrote on his Hyperion , with brother Karl supporting him.

Tutor years

Holderlin's entry in the studbook of the student Johann Camerer, Jena, March 1795

Because of the limited financial resources of the family and Hölderlin's eventual refusal to pursue a career in the church, he initially worked as a tutor for children of wealthy families and was entrusted with this activity in 1793/94 with Charlotte von Kalb in Waltershausen im Grabfeld . According to research by Adolf Beck and Ursula Brauer, among others, he is said to have had a child with Wilhelmine Kirms, an employee of Charlotte von Kalbs. In 1794 he attended the University of Jena to hear lectures from Johann Gottlieb Fichte . During this stay he got to know Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller , whom he particularly admired . He also made the acquaintance of Friedrich von Hardenberg (Novalis) and, in May 1794, Isaac von Sinclairs , with whom he lived in a garden house in Jena from April 1795. In May 1795, Holderlin fled the university town because he believed that he had disappointed his great role model, Schiller, and felt like a little pupil next to him. Confused and with signs of neglect, he reappeared in Nürtingen.

Frankfurt am Main Weißfrauenkirche complex with the White Stag's garden , Jakob Gontard's estate, facing west in 1872

In 1796 he became tutor for the children of Jakob Gontard , a Frankfurt banker. Here he met his wife Susette, who became his great love. Susette Gontard is the model for the Diotima of his letter novel Hyperion .

Holderlin monument in the Bad Homburg spa gardens

When Gontard found out about his wife's relationship with his son's educator, Holderlin had to quit his job in the banker's house. He fled to Homburg to his college friend Isaac von Sinclair. Holderlin found himself in a difficult financial situation (although some of his poems were published with the help of his patron Schiller) and was dependent on the material support of his mother. Even then he was diagnosed with severe " hypochondria "; a condition that worsened after his last meeting with Susette Gontard in 1800.

In January 1801, Hölderlin went to Hauptwil , Switzerland, to teach the younger sister of the businessman Emanuel von Gonzenbach. He stayed there for three months until he was fired and had to return home.

At the beginning of 1802, Hölderlin found a job as a private tutor for the children of the Hamburg consul and wine merchant Daniel Christoph Meyer in Bordeaux and traveled there on foot. After a few months he returned to Württemberg for reasons that were not clear. According to the entry in his passport, he crossed the Rhine bridge near Kehl on June 7, 1802, but did not reach Stuttgart until the end of the month and in such a neglected and confused state that friends at first hardly recognized him. At this point, at the latest, he received the news of Susette's death, who had died of rubella in Frankfurt on June 22, 1802 . The events of June 1802 are historically unclear and the subject of diverging interpretations (such as by Adolf Beck , Pierre Bertaux and DE Sattler ).

Holderlin returned to his mother in Nürtingen and threw himself into work. He translated Sophocles and Pindar , after whose model he also conceived his own chants (or hymns ). His friend Sinclair, who had meanwhile become head of government in Hessen-Homburg , got him a job as court librarian in 1804; Sinclair paid the salary out of pocket. For the Homburg Landgrave Friedrich V , among other things, the song Patmos was created , a composition "of unearthly proportions", as the art historian Fried Lübbecke judges. This was part of a large-scale cycle of patriotic chants , to which the famous Homburg folio bears testimony (including drafts for Der Ister , Greece , The Titans , Kolomb , Mnemosyne ). In 1805 the famous short poem Half of Life was published with his Nachtgesänge .

Forced treatment at the University Hospital Tübingen

Johann Heinrich Ferdinand von Autenrieth

In February 1805, Sinclair was arrested at the request of Elector Friedrich II of Württemberg and a high treason trial was initiated against him, which was unsuccessful. The investigations into the allegedly involved "Württemberg subjects" Hölderlin were soon stopped after the Homburg doctor and court pharmacist Müller reported in an opinion of April 9, 1805 that Hölderlin had broken down and his madness had gone into a frenzy. In August 1806 Sinclair wrote to Hölderlin's mother that he could no longer take care of his friend. On September 11, 1806, Hölderlin was forcibly transported from Homburg to Tübingen to the university clinic headed by Johann Heinrich Ferdinand Autenrieth . From this point on, at the latest, Hölderlin was considered insane by his contemporaries.

In the Tübingen clinic, compulsory treatment was carried out for 231 days, which was regarded as progressive at the time , apparently as a result of Autenrieth's diagnosis of "mania as a secondary disease of scabies". Little is known about the precise treatment that Autenrieth commissioned the medical student and later poet Justinus Kerner to carry out . What is certain, however, is that Hölderlin had to endure four-week cycles of drug treatments at least once, but probably repeatedly. In addition to possible phases of sedation and calming, these provoked in particular intense, definitely painful and persistent (sometimes bloody) diarrhea. The only written source that gives insight into the treatment situation comes from the first weeks of treatment: “Uhland studies izt Schelling u. Kerner helps the fallen titans Hölderlin to lax in the clinic and makes him mad. Thereby Autenrieth wants the poetry u. chase out the folly at the same time. ”(Letter from the theology student Gustav Schoder from the infirmary of the Tübingen clinic, probably from September 30th or October 3rd, 1806 to his friend Immanuel Hoch )

In historical retrospect, the treatment seems to have had an almost traumatic quality in many phases; one can hardly assume that Holderlin's mental health improved as a result. Since 1900, literary scholars and psychiatrists in particular have argued vehemently about the precise medical definition of his mental “displacement”. Even if this question can hardly ever be answered with certainty in historical retrospect , the view advocated by Pierre Bertaux that Hölderlin only simulated his madness is wrong in such simplification from today's perspective. In particular, there is now agreement that a more precise determination of the medical diagnosis, if it were possible, would have to leave open the question of how his later and latest poems are to be assessed, especially a more detailed study of his later work - contrary to the voices that the growing one Understanding denial of the ego as a symptom of "schizophrenic dissolution of the ego" - allows for interpretive approaches that proceed from a conscious "will to disentangle" that distanced itself from the subjectivism of its time, and which sometimes reveals features of a parodic settlement with conventional ego poetry.

Second half of life in the tower room from 1807 to 1843

The Hölderlin Tower in Tübingen
Friedrich Hölderlin's grave in the Tübingen city cemetery

In 1807, Hölderlin, released on May 3rd by Autenrieth as "incurable" and with the prospect of only a few more years of life, came to Ernst Zimmer's household, a Tübingen carpenter and admirer of Hyperion , for care . Here he lived as a member of the household and with family and caring support, most recently from Lotte Zimmer , a tower room above the Neckar ( Hölderlin tower ). There was also a guardianship by the mother, after her death in 1828 by the senior administrator Burk. Hölderlin was financially secure both through a private inheritance and a special pension from the Württemberg court.

In the first few years after his stay in the clinic, Hölderlin resumed his poetic work, but he often found strong and prolonged states of excitement with subsequent apathy. An indication that he was aware of his situation and how he felt it is an often quoted poem from January 1811:

I enjoyed the pleasant things of this world.
The youth hours are how long! how long! gone,
April and May and Julius are far away
I am nothing anymore; I don't like to live anymore!

Since April 1812, when he was going through a serious physical illness with an unclear diagnosis, the states of excitement became rarer and milder. Hölderlin expanded his social and artistic activity, for example playing the piano a lot. He also resumed correspondence with his mother, even if he remained peculiarly formulaic in his letters. In 1813 he saw the birth of Lotte Zimmer, who would later become his nurse, who accompanied him for the rest of his life.

After Hölderlin had withdrawn more from the house community in the years from 1816 , he became increasingly artistically productive again , apparently under the influence of Wilhelm Waiblinger's visits from 1822 (until 1826). He took long and long walks with Waiblinger. In 1826 a first collection of works was published by Gustav Schwab and Ludwig Uhland , but without Hölderlin's direct involvement in the publication of the book.

Between 1829 and 1837, as a “Tübingen attraction”, Hölderlin increasingly fell victim to numerous visits from strangers and travelers, which he often found annoying. In particular towards these strangers, he often behaved very strange and in an almost theatrical way "crazy". Otherwise he limited his contacts to the house community, broke off contact with his own family and devoted himself to his poetic activity, whereby his poems of these latest years are characterized by a high formal order, a certain simplification of the choice of topics (such as "seasons") and one Distinguish loss of the poetic "I". From 1837 he also used - as in 1789/1799 ("D.", "Hillmar") - pseudonyms: "Buonarotti", "Scardanelli" (among others in poetry). He also dated poems in some cases decades to centuries into the past or future.

After Ernst Zimmer's death in 1838, Lotte Zimmer took on responsibility for the care. Between 1841 and 1843 Christoph Theodor Schwab , who then wrote his first Hölderlin biography in 1846, visited several times and encouraged Hölderlin to take up new poetic activities: during these years the Scardanelli song cycle was created. In 1843, Hölderlin died on June 7th at midnight in largely physical health.

The young poet Wilhelm Waiblinger, who admired Hölderlin and visited him repeatedly in the 1820s, was not only responsible for the romantic stylization of the insane Hölderlin during this time, but also for the transmission of the apocryphal prose text In lovely blueness , which can perhaps be assigned to the chants . As a madman, Hölderlin also appears in the painter Nolten , a novel by Eduard Mörike , who had also visited the poet in Tübingen. In addition, Hölderlin appears as an insane "friend Holder" in Justinus Kerner's travel shadow . It is reported that Zimmer destroyed large quantities of Hölderlin's notes in recent years.

Friedrich Hölderlin's grave is preserved in the Tübingen city cemetery . The tomb was erected in 1844 at the instigation of Hölderlin's half-brother Karl Gok and has a memorial line from Karl Gok to his brother, the poet Friedrich Hölderlin, as an inscription.


The lyric work

Hölderlin's importance as a poet is based on his lyrical work. He preferred the high forms of poetry ( hymn , ode , elegy ).

Youth poems (1784–1788)

The student poems reveal the spirit of pietism . Holderlin laments the hostile narrowness of the monastery schools; his poems are characterized by melancholy, loneliness and retreat into inwardness. Models are the poets of sensitivity , Klopstock and the young Schiller .

The Tübingen Hymns (1790–1793)

The break with youth poetry did not take place until 1790, when Hölderlin had already been in the monastery for two years. Hölderlin enthusiastically welcomed the French Revolution , began to grapple with Kant's critical philosophy and read Greek literature and philosophy intensively. Ancient Greece represented the model that Holderlin opposed to the feudal-absolutist oppression of his present. The early Tübingen hymns celebrate the liberation of mankind and yet remain tied to the ideas of harmony of the 18th century. Jochen Schmidt judges: "All these rhyming hymns are carried by an idealistic-abstract emphasis that exaggerates and evaporates the concrete and the real." In human applause (1796) Hölderlin criticized the empty pathos of the early hymns themselves.

The Frankfurt Odendichtung (1796–1798)

In the years 1794–1798, Hölderlin concentrated on his novel, Hyperion. The lyrical work took a back seat to it. However, during this time, Holderlin developed his mastery in ode poetry. Most of the odes of the Frankfurt era are shorts with two or three stanzas, some of which are further elaborated later. Compared to the hymn, the strict form of the ode requires concentration and great mental discipline. Holderlin's pantheistic worldview finds its expression in the odes, which is based on ancient pantheism , Spinoza , the Spinozist literature of his time and Rousseau's natural cult .

The lyrical poetry of the Homburg period (1798–1800)

After separating from Susette Gontard , the focus was initially on elegance poetry. Hölderlin is seized with a tragic attitude towards life. Parallel to the Homburg fragments on aesthetics and poetology, poetic self-reflection occupies a large space in Hölderlin's lyrical works.

Hölderlin's late poetry (1800–1806)

The late hymns established Hölderlin's fame in the 20th century. Since many of them consist of multiple layers of editing, editing is difficult. The model for Hölderlin is Pindar , a Greek poet from the 6th / 5th centuries. Century BC u. Z., which Hölderlin read intensively in 1800. The free verse and stanza Holderlin took over from him. The central motif of Hölderlin is given by the anthemic tradition of the genre. It is the task of the hymn to call out the epiphany (appearance) of God. Holderlin wants to understand the essence of the divine, its relationship to the real and to poetry. The absolute has to express itself in the earthly, since the divine does not feel itself. After the French Revolution, Holderlin imagined himself to be in a time far from gods. During the “holy night” ( bread and wine , v. 123) it is the poet's task to keep people's thoughts of a higher life alive.

The demigods in Hölderlin's late work, Dionysus , Heracles and Prometheus, play an important role . They are human-divine intermediate beings, mediators between God and man. Dionysus is the son of Zeus and the Theban king's daughter Semele ( As if on a holiday , vv. 45-49). The culture-giving god of wine, Dionysus, wanders from east to west in bread and wine . In Hesperia, the Occident, Greek culture is completed. Germany should play an important role in this ( Gesang des Deutschen, Germanien ).

The poets are priests and seers. Your job is honorable but dangerous. You can succumb to the temptation not to be satisfied with the earthly sign of appearance, but to want to experience God directly. The gods' punishment for this outrage is expressed through the metaphor of fire ( Patmos , v. 89-93). Whoever does not want to tolerate the inequality of the divine and the human will be destroyed by the gods. Whoever mixes the divine with the human is a false priest ( As if on a holiday , vv. 70–73). The counterbalance to Hölderlin's poetic enthusiasm is the recognition of the objective order of the world.

A large part of Hölderlin's late poetry is based on historical and mythical memory. In his late poetry, Hölderlin moves from ancient cyclical thinking, understanding history as a return of the same, to the teleological model of history (peace celebration, the only one, Patmos). The divine powers of the ancient and Christian world, Heracles, Dionysus and Christ, unite. History is understood as a process of spiritualization. The hymn peace celebration regards the peace of Lunéville , which ended the first coalition war, not primarily as a historical event, but in the sense of the chiliasm , which foresaw a realm of inner-worldly justice before the last judgment.

In his late poetry, Holderlin redefined the relationship between Greek and Christian religiosity. Christianity is gaining in importance. In bread and wine , Christ appears as the last of the ancient demigods. The glorious gods of antiquity, visible in the sculpture, are contrasted with Christian inwardness, the spiritualization of the outside. Dionysus is brought closer to Christ as the bringer of peace and salvation. However, Holderlin's syncretistic ideas do not reveal a clear priority of Christ over the Greek demigods. On the other hand, God appears as the "Father of the earth" ( The Only One , 2nd version, v. 90). At the end of the historical process that began with classical Greece, the Christian in general of the patriotic, i. H. a secularized society.

Holderlin's illness is heralded in some poems. After separating from Susette Gontard, Hölderlin felt a sense of homelessness. In Hölderlin's late poetry, a threatening urge to break boundaries becomes visible ( Mnemosyne , v. 13–17, 22–34). In Chiron , Holderlin opposes this tendency towards the ecstatic and self-destructive.

In formal terms too, Hölderlin's late poetry is characterized by extreme contradictions. Schmidt names the characteristics "bold metaphors and at the same time abstract hardness, glowing richness of images and simple saying, wide-span, rhythmically strongly moving large periods and lapidary brevity". Holderlin's mythologically and historically charged imagery is difficult to understand. The tone of his hymns is solemn, prophetic and visionary. Holderlin's poetry strives for the divine; his imagination overcomes lands and seas, comparable to the wanderings of Dionysus.

The novel Hyperion

The creation of the novel Hyperion goes back to the time of Tübingen. The first volume appeared in 1797, the second in 1798. Hölderlin's protagonist Hyperion takes part in the Greek uprising against Turkish rule in 1770. In the background, however, are problems of the present: the possibilities of revolutionary action after the experiences of the First Coalition War that France waged against the European monarchies.

The life of the human being, analogous to the revolutions of the planets, is captured in the image of the eccentric orbit: the child's original harmony is lost in the process of developing self-confidence and leads to isolation. At the same time, however, the path of human life and the development of humanity also open up the possibility of regaining the original harmony at a higher level. Man's eccentric trajectory is necessary: ​​the young man emerges from childlike innocence. However, since he lacks insight, he is prone to error. Need, suffering and grief strengthen people.

Growing up on a small Greek island, Hyperion moves into the world to learn about the customs and traditions of the people. In Smyrna he becomes friends with Alabanda, with whom he enthusiastically paints a picture of a free and beautiful society. However, they soon part ways. While Alabanda stands up for the revolutionary overthrow by a group of conspirators ("Bund der Nemesis"), Hyperion relies on an evolutionary development. Resigned and melancholy, Hyperion withdraws to his native island, but regains strength and self-confidence through the encounter with the girl Diotima. In the ruins of Athens, under the influence of Diotima, Hyperion decides to become the educator of his people.

At the beginning of the second volume, Hyperion joins the Greek uprising against the Turks and renews his friendship with Alabanda. However, he is bitterly disappointed as the irregulars begin to pillage. There are clear relationships here with the warfare of the French revolutionary armies. Alabanda and Hyperion's love, Diotima, embody the two sides of the protagonist: the subverter and man of action Alabanda the heroic striving of Hyperion, Diotima, a perfect beauty, on the other hand needlessness, self-sufficiency, harmony with nature, peace and quiet. After the deaths of Alabanda and Diotimas, Hyperion temporarily went to Germany. In his famous Scheltr speech he accuses the Germans of barbarism, slavish attitudes, unnatural and incomprehensible genius. Despite his failure, Hyperion ultimately regains faith in the meaning of his life in a pantheistic commitment to the harmony of nature. As a poet, Hyperion tries to awaken this religious consciousness in the people by describing and reflecting on his path through life.

Hyperion is the last of the sensitive epistolary novels of the 18th century, a tradition that extends from Richardson's Pamela and Clarissa to Rousseau's Neue Héloise to Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther . Most of Hyperion's letters are addressed to Bellarmine, a German; the novel is predominantly monological . The correspondence between Diotima and Hyperion in the first book of the second volume is an exception. Although Holderlin wanted to outbid Rousseau and Goethe, the success of his novel was moderate. In contrast to Goethe's Werther , a simple triangular story in which people are about flesh and blood, Hölderlin's characters are typified: Hyperion embodies the elegiac, Alabanda the heroic, Diotima the naive type. The Hyperion is considered to be "the most lyrical of all German prose works". Hyperion's letters are partly designed from direct experience, partly reminiscent and reflective. In the end, memory and reflection bring the conflicts in life to balance.

The Drama Fragments The Death of Empedocles

After completing the Hyperion , Hölderlin started a drama project, The Death of Empedocles (late 1797). Empedocles was a Greek philosopher, doctor and democratic politician who lived in the 6th century BC. u. Currently lived in Akragas (Agrigento, Sicily). Allegedly, he put an end to his life himself by throwing himself into Mount Etna in order to fully unite with nature. This legend was already in doubt in ancient times. Empedocles probably died in exile in the Peloponnese .

Three versions have survived, none of which was completed. In the spring of 1800, Hölderlin stopped working on Empedocles . In the second act of the first version, Holderlin lets the protagonist express his own republican confession: “This is no longer the time of kings.” (V. 1418) The historical background of the drama is formed by the crisis of the Directory in France and finally the coup d'état of Napoleon Bonaparte 1799.

Hölderlin failed because of his drama project because he did not master the laws of the genre - even though he regarded tragedy as the highest of the literary genres. The fragments Reason for Empedocles and The Setting Fatherland, created around the same time as the drafts for Empedocles , combine historical-philosophical and aesthetic issues. The first text contains reflections on the drama project, on the dialectic of nature and art in Empedocles ; the second relates to the historical upheaval that resulted from the French Revolution, to people's fear of the new and to overcome it through conscious memory. The remarks on Antigone and Oedipus that he added to his translations of these two tragedies by Sophocles form a continuation of Holderlin's preoccupation with the tragedy . These are interpretations at the highest level.

Holderlin as a philosopher

The importance of Holderlin for the early idealistic philosophy according to Kant in the 1890s has only been fully recognized and appreciated in the past fifty years. Holderlin's basic philosophical position can be characterized by the all-unity thought, i. H. through the unity of nature and of man with nature. Therefore, in view of the current ecological crisis, the topicality of Hölderlin is undisputed. Holderlin oriented himself towards ancient pantheism and the philosophy of Spinoza , for whom there was only one substance, God or nature. The most important thinker for Holderlin was Plato . The Renaissance philosopher Ficino (1433–1499) and the representatives of the unification philosophy, a Platonizing tributary in thought of the 18th century, Hemsterhuis (1721–1790) and Herder (1744–1803), pointed the way for Holderlin's reception of Plato . The philosophy of union represented an attempt to undo the divisions under which man thinks and lives.

Hölderlin's engagement with the contemporary philosophy of subjectivity by Kant and Fichte was partly affirmative, partly critical. Holderlin rejected Fichte's approach of deriving his system from a supreme evident principle, the absolute self. For him, self-referentiality (Ihood) and absoluteness are mutually exclusive. The ego is already based on a separation, that of subject and object. Hence it cannot be the highest principle of philosophy. On the other hand, Holderlin was positive about Fichte's dialectic of alternating determination (I and not I determine each other). This also applies to the concept of striving, which is central to Fichte's practical philosophy. According to Holderlin, man must strive for the infinite on the one hand, but on the other hand for limitation. Man cannot be god-like, but neither may he descend to be an animal.

From November 1794 to May / June 1795, Hölderlin stayed in Jena, where he attended Fichte's lectures. The examination of Fichte's thinking culminated in a basic-philosophical sketch, which in the big Stuttgart Hölderlin edition bears the title Judgment and Being . According to Hölderlin, judgment denotes the original separation of subject and object, whereas being denotes the original whole. This being does not represent the ultimate foundation of philosophy (like Fichte's absolute I), but a necessary prerequisite for the subject-object relationship. It can only be recognized in infinite approximation, but can be seen in the beautiful as a finite being. With Plato, the beautiful is the idea that is most accessible to the senses ( Phaedrus 250d).

For Kant and Fichte the primacy of practical philosophy, ethics , applies; for Hölderlin, aesthetics is the supreme discipline of philosophy. During the preparations for a literary magazine (the project failed), Hölderlin developed his aesthetics and poetology in a number of manuscripts in a systematic form. These so-called Homburg fragments were created in 1799. The basis for these fragments was Hölderlin's doctrine of changing tones. In doing so, Holderlin seems to want to develop Schiller's distinction between naive and sentimental poetry. He applied the doctrine of the naive, heroic and ideal tone first to the literary genres of poetry, epic and drama (tragedy). With regard to the epic, the change of tones consists in the heroic keynote, the representation (appearance) of which must be naive. In the lyric the basic tone is naive, the representation (Hölderlin calls this the "art character") ideal. The highest genre is the tragic (basic tone ideal, appearance heroic). The “tones”, which can also be called forms, are therefore not only applied by Hölderlin to the individual literary work or to the genres. In them the three fundamental world relations of the subject are expressed (naive devotion to the world, heroic self-power over the world, ideal balance of both tendencies). The age of childhood, youth and maturity correspond to the relationships of the subject to the object world.

In the fragment On the Difference of Poetry , Holderlin explains his conception of tragedy as the highest genre. The text On the Procedure of the Poetic Spirit is the most extensive of Holderlin's fragments; it is not only a poetological, but also a metaphysical-speculative text that varies the theme of the necessary union of subject and object in being and makes it the starting point for a differentiated aesthetics and poetics.

Holderlin did not prepare or publish a single one of his philosophical manuscripts. Nevertheless, he exercised a great influence on his college friends Schelling and Hegel. He was recognized by both as a philosophical interlocutor. From 1797 to 1800 he was Hegel's philosophical mentor. His unification philosophy was of great importance for the dialectic of Hegel.

The Troubles of the Editors

The Hölderlin monument in Lauffen am Neckar with lines from the poem "The Wanderer":   Blessed land! No hill grows in you without the vine, / Down in the swelling grass the fruit rains in autumn. / The glowing mountains bathe happily in the river, / Wreaths of twigs and moss cool their sunny heads.

During Hölderlin's lifetime only part of his lyric work was published, and it was not until the second half of the 19th century that some hitherto unknown texts from the period after 1800 were published; previously almost only the so-called night songs of the late work were known.

Wilhelm Böhm made the first efforts to edit the handwritten estate . Its edition has been replaced by the two historical-critical editions by Franz Zinkernagel and Norbert von Hellingrath . The particular difficulties that Hölderlin's manuscripts cause led Friedrich Beißner to make a third attempt at a scholarly edition of the complete works as early as 1943 (Stuttgart edition). The text that Beißner produced, initially regarded as the final one, was the subject of severe criticism from D. E. Sattler in the 1970s, who began a fourth complete edition in 1975 (Frankfurt edition). Its centerpiece, volumes 7 and 8 with the chants , was welcomed on the one hand and rejected by Hölderlin researchers and edition philologists from other editions on the other.

Norbert von Hellingrath , editor of a Hölderlin work edition, Volume I of which was edited in 1913

The dispute over the Hölderlin text divided research for years and has not come to an end to this day. Due to the different decisions made by the editors, there is no uniform text for many works today. This applies above all to the hymns and drafts from the Homburg folio as well as the drafts for the drama The Death of Empedocles and many other poems. The commented reading edition by Jochen Schmidt is derived from the Stuttgart edition, the edition by Michael Knaupp is derived from the Frankfurt edition. Since Schmidt and Knaupp also made their own decisions about the production of the text, four editions are currently competing with texts that differ considerably from one another, so that even readers interested in the mere wording are forced to go back to the reproductions of the manuscripts given in the Frankfurt edition.


30 Pf - special stamp of the Deutsche Bundespost (1970) for the 200th birthday of Friedrich Hölderlin
25 Pf - special stamp of the GDR Post (1970) for the 200th birthday of Friedrich Hölderlin from the series Famous Personalities IV


Hölderlin's poetry , which today is undisputedly considered a high point in German and Western literature, was not unknown to writers until the middle of the 19th century due to the edition of the poems that appeared in 1826 . He aroused enthusiasm among the supporters of the Heidelberg Romanticism , especially Clemens Brentano and Achim von Arnim , who printed Holderlin's poems for Einsiedler in some issues of their newspaper . The former confessed that Holderlin was "his highest ideal". Joseph Görres remembered the poet in his magazine Aurora in 1804 and a year later he praised the novel Hyperion. Wilhelm Waiblinger , who imitated Hölderlin's novel in his Phaeton , wrote the first biography of Friedrich Hölderlin's Life, Poetry and Madness in 1827/28 .

After 1848, however, his lyric work was largely ignored; Holderlin was considered a young romantic melancholic and a mere imitator of Schiller. Friedrich Nietzsche, however, held him in high regard; Motives for his criticism of a unified Apollonian image of Greek culture go back to Holderlin. The great aftermath in the 20th century began with Stefan George ; the scientific development began in 1910 with the dissertation of Norbert von Hellingrath , in which the style of Hölderlin's late work and the peculiarity of his translations from Pindar were described for the first time in an adequate manner. Apart from a more conservative or German-nationalistic reception of Hölderlin, decidedly left-wing readers have also dealt with the poet. In addition to Georg Lukács and Peter Weiss, this also includes anarchists such as Gustav Landauer and Rudolf Rocker .

Although Hölderlin's anthemic style has remained unique in German literature, his concise and often fragmentary poetry has a profound influence on poetry, e.g. B. by George , Heym , Trakl , Celan , Bachmann and many others - by younger authors such as Gerhard Falkner  .

His patriotic poems (such as the ode Death for the Fatherland ) were particularly popular during the time of National Socialism and the two world wars. Her liberal, republican background was kept secret during this time.

Hölderlin's translations of the plays King Oedipus and Antigone by Sophocles found little, but sometimes enthusiastic reception after their publication, especially in Bettina von Arnim's book Die Günderode , a work about Karoline von Günderrode . From the side of the philologists (especially from Heinrich Voss, the son of Johann Heinrich Voss ) and also from Schiller, however, sharply negative statements have been passed down. It was not until the 20th century that its importance as a model for a poetic translation was recognized (for example, Bertolt Brecht's adaptation of Sophocles' Antigone is based on Holderlin 's translation ), which makes the strangeness of the Greek text visible instead of eliminating it.

Hölderlin's philosophical significance is based on his criticism of Fichte's science of science and on his counter-proposal, which he put down in the two-page study Judgment and Seyn , which was only published in 1961. The other philosophical and poetological elaborations are also fragmentary and extremely difficult. Dieter Henrich in particular worked out Hölderlin's philosophical approach in extensive studies and described the discussion contexts in which he was able to develop. Hölderlin's dominant role in the philosophical community with Sinclair and Hegel in Frankfurt and Bad Homburg contributed to the development of the basic ideas that ultimately led Hegel to his philosophy of mind . The conceptual content of the hymn-like late work repeatedly became an occasion for philosophical interpretations, for example with Martin Heidegger and - rejecting Heidegger's interpretations - with Theodor W. Adorno .

Confrontation with Hölderlin's illness

Based on sparse traditions and shaped by the literary experiences of contemporary witnesses, Hölderlin's madness remained a marginal note in the psychiatric discourse until 1900 . The interest in a diagnosis that was as unambiguous as possible did not initially come from psychiatrists, but from literary scholars.

The Germanist Franz Zinkernagel asked the psychiatrist Robert Eugen Gaupp , who headed the Tübingen University Nervous Clinic from 1906 to 1936, when exactly the illness had started because he considered the poems from a complete edition to be “sick” and thus “meaningless” wanted to exclude. Gaupp, in turn, commissioned his assistant Wilhelm Lange-Eichbaum , who had received his doctorate on dementia praecox (later: schizophrenia ) under Emil Kraepelin . Although he did not find the medical history that Justinus Kerner must have kept on behalf of Autenrieth , which has been lost to this day, he did find the prescription book - the only direct clinical source to this day on Hölderlin's treatment in the Tübingen hospital. In Wilhelm Lange's 1909 work Hölderlin , against the background of a positivistic scientific understanding of psychiatric disease categories in the style of Kraepelin, he represented the thesis that Hölderlin had suffered from a schizophrenic illness from May 1801. Lange and Zinkernagel agreed that the literary works of Hölderlin should be classified as "meaningless" from the time of his schizophrenic illness - an inadmissible statement from today's perspective.

As early as 1915, Norbert von Hellingrath , editor of the first historical-critical edition of Hölderlin's works, contradicted the sense of such a company . Because, according to his argument, the intellectual products of a “mentally disturbed person” could definitely make sense. Karl Jaspers expressed himself in a similar way with his now famous saying: "It is sterile to apply rough psychopathological categories to Hölderlin's poems." However, like most psychiatrists, Jaspers remained ambiguous in the assessment of Hölderlin until the 1980s.

Gaupp himself was a member of the board of the Society for Racial Hygiene as early as 1910 and was a staunch advocate of forced racial sterilization during the Weimar Republic ; he is considered one of the pioneers of the National Socialist "racial hygiene" . In 1931 he gave a lecture at the Tübingen Psychiatric Clinic “The fight against the degeneration of our people from the doctor's point of view”. At the same clinic in 1935 - that is, still under Gaupp's direction - the dissertation The Mental Illness of Friedrich Hölderlin in its relationship to his poetic work was written . The author Rudolf Treichler praises Lange's work as a “fundamental Hölderlin pathography”, but assumes a position that is more advanced than Lange and also compared to Gaupp's fanaticism: He expressly rejects psychiatization of artistic creation, i.e. the assumption that “that , because artistic products come from a sick person and can therefore be rated lower or higher ”. From Jaspers he takes on the comparison with the sick mussel that creates a pearl, and calls this a "beautiful picture".

The controversy became explosive with the biography of Pierre Bertaux published in 1978 . In it he advocates the thesis that Hölderlin's alleged insanity was a measure against the threatened political persecution that, to a certain extent, forced Hölderlin to play crazy. Bertaux's biography also became popular against the background that an intensive critical examination of the institution “psychiatry” was taking place in Western societies. She conveyed views of antipsychiatry (although Bertaux did not explicitly advocate them) and thus brought Hölderlin into current cultural debates.

Even if Holderlin may have kept unpleasant people at bay by exaggerating his own madness, the denial of his serious mental illness goes too far. This can be seen, for example, in the Nürtingen foster care files, which contain impressive letters from Erich and Lotte Zimmer. They weren't discovered until the 1990s.

Retrospective evaluations based on historically shaped terms such as the respective psychiatric classifications are, of course, fundamentally uncertain. Furthermore, from today's psychiatric point of view, it is not at all necessary to rule out a mental disorder such as schizophrenia if one is to regard the late works of Holderlin as meaningful and aesthetically demanding works of art. Current literary studies emphatically prove the high quality, meaningfulness and independence of Holderlin's late poems.

Lifetime expenses

1791   The first poems are published in Gotthold Friedrich Stäudlin's Musenalmanach for 1792
1797-1799   Hyperion or The Hermit in Greece (1st volume as digitized and full text in the German Text Archive , 2nd volume as digitalized and full text in the German Text Archive )
1804   Tragedy of Sophocles (Sophocles Transmission)
1826   Poems by Friedrich Hölderlin (edited by Ludwig Uhland and Gustav Schwab ) ( digitized and full text in the German text archive )

Later editions

  • Friedrich Hölderlin's complete works. Edited by Christoph Theodor Schwab , 2 volumes, Stuttgart and Tübingen 1846. (First complete edition)
  • Collected seals . Edited by Berthold Litzmann, 2 volumes, Stuttgart 1896.
  • Collected Works . Edited by Wilhelm Böhm, 3 volumes, Jena 1905.
  • All works . Historical-critical edition , started by Norbert von Hellingrath and continued by Friedrich Seebass and Ludwig von Pigenot , 6 vols., Berlin 1913–1923. (Third edition in 4 volumes, Berlin 1943)
  • All works and letters in 5 volumes . Critical-historical edition, ed. by Franz Zinkernagel , Leipzig 1914–1926.
  • All works . Edited by Friedrich Beißner and Adolf Beck , 8 vols., Stuttgart 1943–1985. ("Large Stuttgart Edition")
  • All works . Edited by Friedrich Beißner , 6 vols., Stuttgart 1944–1962. ("Small Stuttgart Edition")
  • All works and letters . Edited by Günter Mieth, 2 volumes, Berlin & Weimar 1970.
  • Complete Works. Historical-critical edition, ed. by DE Sattler, 20 volumes and 3 supplements, Frankfurt a. M. 1975-2008. ("Frankfurt edition")
  • Works, letters, documents . Edited by Pierre Bertaux , 4th, rev. u. exp. Ed., Munich 1990.
  • All works and letters . Edited by Michael Knaupp , 3 volumes, Munich 1992–1993.
  • All works and letters in three volumes . Edited by Jochen Schmidt , Frankfurt a. M. 1992-1994.
  • All works, letters and documents. Edited by DE Sattler, 12 vols., Munich 2004. ("Bremen Edition")


Special postage stamp for the 150th anniversary of death


Several literary prizes are named after Hölderlin:


  • Hölderlin-Ring of the Hölderlin-Nürtingen Association, which honors services to the work and person of Hölderlin as well as the memory of him






While only relatively few Hölderlin settings were made in the 19th century, there was a lively reception in the second half of the 20th century, which particularly takes up the poet's late work.

  • Peter Cornelius : Sunset (1862)
  • Johannes Brahms : Song of Destiny op.54 based on a poem from Hyperion (1868/71)
  • Max Reger : Ihr, ihr Herrlichen (from the poem The Oak Trees ), 18 songs op.75, No. 6 for high voice and piano (1903)
  • Max Reger: To Hope , Lied op.124 for alto and orchestra (1912)
  • Josef Matthias Hauer : Hölderlin-Lieder op.6 and op.12 for medium voice and piano (1914/15)
  • Hans Pfitzner : Atonement , Lied op.29 / 1 for voice and piano (1921)
  • Josef Matthias Hauer : Six songs op. 32 (1924) and five songs op. 40 (1925) for voice and piano
  • Theophil Laitenberger : Six Hölderlin chants for medium voice and piano:  An Diotima (1934/1970) / The oak trees (1936/1970) / Sunset (1923/1970) / The peace (1934/1970) / The human being (1923/1969 ) / Return home (1951/1969).
  • Wolfgang Fortner : Four Songs (1933)
  • Paul Hindemith : Six songs based on poems by Friedrich Hölderlin for tenor and piano (1933/35)
  • Paul Dessau : Atonement , song for voice and piano (1937)
  • Viktor Ullmann composed his Hölderlin songs (1943/44) in the Theresienstadt concentration camp .
  • Hermann Reutter : Drei Lieder op. 56 for low voice and piano (1944); Three songs op. 67 for voice and piano (1946/47); Five fragments without op. for tenor and piano (1965)
  • Carl Orff : Antigonae , setting of the tragedy of Sophocles in Hölderlin's translation (Salzburg 1949)
  • Hans Werner Henze : Chamber music 1958 on the hymn In lovely blue (1958)
  • Benjamin Britten : Six Hölderlin Fragments (German) op. 61 (1958) for tenor and piano
  • Carl Orff: Oedipus der Tyrann , setting of the tragedy of Sophocles in Hölderlin's translation (Stuttgart 1959)
  • Hans Werner Henze : then and now for voice and piano (1961)
  • Hanns Eisler : cycle Ernste Gesänge for baritone and string orchestra (1962); Foreplay and saying Many tried in vain , 1. Asylum in its fullness , 4. To hope O hope! 6. Come to the open friend
  • Aribert Reimann : Hölderlin Fragments, for soprano and orchestra (1963)
  • Wilhelm Weismann : Three madrigals based on words by Friedrich Hölderlin (1963)
  • Bruno Maderna : Aria (1964), Hyperion. Lirica in forma di spettacolo (1965), both works for soprano, flute and orchestra
  • Jacques Wildberger : "... the voice, the old weaker voice" for soprano, violoncello and tape (1973/74)
  • Heinz Holliger : Scardanelli cycle (1975–1991)
  • Paul-Heinz Dittrich : Chamber Music III for baritone and wind quintet (1974)
  • Giselher Klebe : Three songs based on Hölderlin op.74 (1975/76)
  • Wolfgang Rihm : Hölderlin Fragments (1976/77)
  • Luigi Nono : Fragments - Silence, To Diotima. Streichquartett (1979) and Prometeo (1984) contain a section that has Hölderlin's song of fate from Hyperion as a textual basis.
  • Hans Zender : Hölderlin Reading I / II (1979/87)
  • Nicolaus A. Huber : Tower plants (1982/83)
  • Heinz Holliger : Tower Music (1984)
  • Juan Allende-Blin : Fragment for soprano, trumpet and euphonium (1984)
  • Wilhelm Killmayer : Hölderlin-Lieder 1st cycle (1982–1985), premier: tenor and orch. 1986, tenor and piano 1989; 2nd cycle (1983–1987) premier: tenor and orchestra 1987, tenor and piano 1989; 3rd cycle (1983-1991), UA: 1991
  • György Kurtág : Friedrich Hölderlin: AN… op. 29 for tenor and piano (1988/89)
  • Walter Zimmermann : Hyperion. Letter opera after Hölderlin for writers, 3 singers, instrumental ensemble (1989/90)
  • Hans Zender : Denn wiederkommen - Hölderlin Reading III for string quartet and speaker (1991, premiere: 1992)
  • Jacob ter Veldhuis : Three silent songs op.50 for voice and piano (1991)
  • Nicolaus A. Huber : Open Fragment (1991), An Hölderlins Umnektiven (1992), Without Hölderlin (1992)
  • Karl Ottomar Treibmann : HÖLDERLIN - letters and poems for baritone, flute and piano (1992)
  • Jacques Wildberger : Elegy for soprano and chamber ensemble (1994/95)
  • Jörg-Peter Mittmann : … the All-One (1995), scenic collage of pantheistic texts
  • Georg Friedrich Haas Nacht (1996), chamber opera in 24 pictures
  • Karl Ottomar Treibmann : Tower songs. The Open Day for Voice and Piano (1997)
  • Warnfried Altmann The Blind Singer (1998), composition for mixed choir, a cappella
  • Klemens Vereno : Second Symphony "Gesänge der Ferne" based on fragments by Friedrich Hölderlin for tenor and 45 solo instruments (premiere: 1999)
  • Uwe Nolte , Frank Machau ( Orplid ): Das Schicksal (1999), published on a limited 10 ″ record of the same name .
  • Nicolaus A. Huber : ACH, THE SIGNIFICANT ... ... numb fragments (1999)
  • Rudi Spring : Homecoming - III. Chamber symphony op. 74 (2000-01) for alto voice, obligatory instruments and string orchestra
  • Hans Zender : Mnemosyne - Hölderlin read IV for female voice, 2 violins, viola, cello and tape, premier: 2000
  • Wolfgang Rihm : Three Hölderlin Poems ( Atonement ; Half of Life ; To Rooms ) (2004)
  • Peter Ruzicka : … ins Offene… - Music for 22 strings (2005/06), Parergon - Seven sketches for “Hölderlin” for piano (2006), … and would you like to lay your hands on me… - Five fragments by Hölderlin for baritone and Piano (2006/07), Hölderlin - An Expedition (Music Theater) (2007)
  • Zuzana Mausen-Ferjenčíková : Diotima for organ solo, on texts by Hölderlin (2007)
  • Hiroaki Minami : 5 songs.
  • Walter Steffens : Gesänge auf Hölderlin for voice and piano (2008), 2018 on CD (Navona Records)
  • Vicheslav Shenderovich (Svalbard) : Destiny (2009)
  • Hans Zender : A wanderer… angry - Hölderlin read V for accordion and speaking voice, (2012, WP: 2013)
  • Charlotte Since : Messages from the tower. Two pieces for Friedrich H. for voice and piano (2014)
  • Johannes Matthias Michel : Soon we'll be singing. Motet for mixed choir (2020)
  • Die Grenzgänger : Hölderlin - complete album with 14 settings of Hölderlin poems (2020)
  • Chris Jarrett : Six Hölderlin songs for baritone and piano (2020)

Audio books

  • Harald Bergmann , Scardanelli - Poems spoken by Walter Schmidinger , ECM New Series 1761.
  • Tower poems , spoken by Christian Reiner, ECM New Series 2285/476 2937.
  • Hyperion , read by Christian Brückner, 5CDs, Edition parlando, live recording SR 2011
  • Hölderlin - The Border Crossers (Müller-Lüdenscheidt-Verlag, 2020)

See also


  • Joxe Azurmendi : Filosofia eta poesia: Platon eta Homero, Heidegger eta Hölderlin. In: Filosofia eta poesia. Jakin, Donostia 2011, ISBN 978-84-95234-43-8 .
  • Bernhard M. Baron : Hölderlin's journey home in 1802 from the Reichstag in Regensburg. In: Oberpfälzer Heimat . Vol. 46 (2002), pp. 105-110, ISBN 3-928901-15-X .
  • Antoine Berman : L'épreuve de l'étranger. Culture et traduction dans l'Allemagne romantique: Herder, Goethe, Schlegel, Novalis, Humboldt, Schleiermacher, Hölderlin. Gallimard, Paris 1984, ISBN 978-2-07-070076-9 .
  • Pierre Bertaux : Hölderlin and the French Revolution . Structure, Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-351-01705-7 , (influential study on the "Jacobin" Hölderlin, first published in 1969 by Suhrkampverlag (edition suhrkamp 344))
  • Pierre Bertaux: Friedrich Hölderlin. A biography. Insel, Frankfurt am Main 2000, ISBN 3-458-34352-0 , (the study, first published in 1978 as suhrkamp taschenbuch 686 , sparked the dispute over Hölderlin's “madness”; there is no comprehensive biography that meets scientific claims)
  • Henning Bothe: "We are a sign, meaningless". The reception of Hölderlin from its beginnings to Stefan George. Metzler, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-476-00822-3 , (reveals Nietzsche's early Hölderlin essay as plagiarism)
  • Henning Bothe: Hölderlin as an introduction . Junius, Hamburg 1994, ISBN 3-88506-904-0 , (accentuates the philosophy of Hölderlin)
  • Manfred Engel : The novel of the Goethe era. Vol. 1: Beginnings in Classical and Early Romanticism. Transcendental stories. Metzler, Stuttgart, Weimar 1993, pp. 321-380 (analysis of philosophy and poetics, interpretation of Hyperion ).
  • Ulrich Gaier : Holderlin. An introduction. Francke, Tübingen 1993, ISBN 3-7720-2222-7 (demanding introduction; idiosyncratic)
  • Ulrich Gaier u. a. (Ed.): Hölderlin textures . Hölderlin Society , Tübingen 1995 ff. (Text and image documentation on Hölderlin's life)
  • Martin Glaubrecht:  Hölderlin, Friedrich. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 9, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1972, ISBN 3-428-00190-7 , pp. 322-332 ( digitized version ).
  • Arthur Häny : Hölderlin's life path . In: Swiss monthly magazine , magazine for politics, economy, culture, vol. 44, 1965, pp. 943–954
  • Peter Härtling : Hölderlin. A novel. Luchterhand, Darmstadt 1976 (literary approach to Hölderlin's life and work, powerful, but obsolete in the state of interpretation)
  • Ulrich Häussermann: Friedrich Hölderlin. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1961, ISBN 3-499-50053-1 .
  • Myriam-Sonja Hantke: The poetry of the all-unity with Friedrich Hölderlin and Nishida Kitarô (= world philosophies in conversation. Volume 3). Verlag Traugott Bautz, Nordhausen 2009. ISBN 978-3-88309-502-8 .
  • Priscilla A. Hayden-Roy: Sparta et Martha. Parish office and marriage in the life planning of Hölderlin and in his environment. Thorbecke, Ostfildern 2011, ISBN 978-3-7995-5517-3 , (study on the relationship between office and marriage)
  • Martin Heidegger: Explanations of Hölderlin's poetry. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 1996, ISBN 3-465-02907-0 , (6th, extended edition.)
  • Dieter Henrich : Constellations. Problems and debates at the origin of idealistic philosophy (1789–1795). Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1991, ISBN 3-608-91360-2 , (contains Henrich's epoch-making essay on judgment and being from 1961)
  • Dieter Henrich: The reason in consciousness. Investigations into Hölderlin's thinking (1794/95). Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-608-91613-X , (discusses Hölderlin's philosophical development during his time in Jena)
  • Friedrich Hölderlin: The poet about his work. Edited by Friedrich Beissner. Adult and edit. by Bernhard Böschenstein. (2nd edition) WBG, Darmstadt 1996, ISBN 3-534-13292-0 .
  • Jürgen K. Hultenreich : Hölderlin - half life. Edition AB Fischer, Berlin 2018.
  • Otfried Kies: Hölderlin and his family in Lauffen am Neckar. Edited by the Hölderlin Society in connection with the city of Lauffen am Neckar. Verlag Hölderlin-Gesellschaft, Tübingen 2001.
  • Thomas Knubben: Hölderlin. A winter trip . Klöpfer & Meyer, Tübingen 2012, ISBN 978-3-86351-012-1 .
  • Johann Kreuzer (Ed.): Hölderlin-Handbuch. Life - work - effect. Metzler, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-476-01704-4 , (comprehensive; relatively demanding)
  • Jean Laplanche : Hölderlin and the search for the father. (Original title: Hölderlin et la question du père. 1961). Frommann-Holzboog, Stuttgart / Bad Cannstatt 1975
  • Jürgen Link : Hölderlin-Rousseau: Inventive return. Wiesbaden 1999.
  • Jürgen Link: Hölderlin's line of flight Greece. Goettingen 2020.
  • Kristina Lohrmann:  Hölderlin, Friedrich. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 2, Bautz, Hamm 1990, ISBN 3-88309-032-8 , Sp. 929-932.
  • Gunter Martens: Friedrich Hölderlin. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1996, ISBN 3-499-50586-X , (reliable biographical introduction)
  • Winfried Menninghaus: "Half of Life". Attempt on Hölderlin's poetics. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 2005.
  • Karl-Heinz Ott : Hölderlin's ghosts. Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich 2019, ISBN 978-3-446-26376-5 .
  • Jacky Carl-Joseph Paul: The German spirit is poor. Secret sense. Hölderlin: A reply . Athena, Oberhausen 2011, ISBN 978-3-89896-448-7 .
  • Rüdiger Safranski : Holderlin. Come over! openly, friend. Biography. Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich 2019. ISBN 978-3-446-26408-3 .
  • DE Sattler: Friedrich Hölderlin. 144 flying letters. Luchterhand, Darmstadt 1981, ISBN 3-472-86531-8 .
  • Jochen Schmidt: Hölderlin's historical-philosophical hymns 'Peace Celebration', 'The Only One', 'Patmos'. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1990, ISBN 3-534-10869-8 .
  • Wolfgang Schmidt-Hidding : Contributions to the style of Hölderlin's "Death of Empedocles". Elwert, Marburg an der Lahn 1927.
  • Hans Gerhard Steimer (Ed.): Friedrich Hölderlin. Critical-historical edition by Franz Zinkernagel 1914-1926 . Poems, readings and explanations. Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2019. ISBN 978-3-8353-3489-2
  • Helm Stierlin : Nietzsche, Hölderlin and the crazy: systemic digressions . 1st edition Carl-Auer, Heidelberg 1992.
  • Moritz Strohschneider: New religion in Friedrich Hölderlin's later poetry. De Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2019 (= sources and research on literary and cultural history. Volume 94).
  • Hermann Uhrig : Hölderlins' "Empedocles" and the French Revolution: A Contemporary Critique of German Conditions. Verlag Traugott Bautz GmbH, Nordhausen 2016, ISBN 978-3-95948-035-2 .
  • Stefan Wackwitz: Friedrich Hölderlin. 2. revised u. Erg. Aufl., Metzler, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-476-12215-8 , (contains a partially improper presentation of the discussion about the various editions, not from the author)
  • Wilhelm Waiblinger : Friedrich Hölderlin's life, poetry and madness. 1827/28.
  • Stefan Zweig : The fight with the demon. Hölderlin - Kleist - Nietzsche (=  The Builders of the World . Volume 2 ). Insel Verlag, Leipzig 1925.
  • Adolf WohlwillHölderlin, Johann Christian Friedrich . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 12, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1880, pp. 728-734.


  • International Hölderlin Bibliography (IHB) , edited by the Hölderlin archive of the Württemberg State Library in Stuttgart, first edition 1804–1983, edited by Maria Kohler. Frommann-Holzboog, Stuttgart 1985, ISBN 3-7728-1000-4 .

Web links

Commons : Friedrich Hölderlin  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Friedrich Hölderlin  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Gunter Martens: Friedrich Hölderlin. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1996, p. 8.
  2. Gunter Martens: Friedrich Hölderlin. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1996, p. 10.
  3. On Hölderlin's mother see also Ursula Brauer:  Gok, Johanna Christiana. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 26, Bautz, Nordhausen 2006, ISBN 3-88309-354-8 , Sp. 494-513.
  4. ^ Adolf Beck and Paul Raabe: Hölderlin. A chronicle in words and pictures. Insel Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1970, Fig. 1 and p. 339.
  5. Pierre Bertaux, Friedrich Hölderlin . Frankfurt am Main 1978 (Suhrkamp Taschenbuch 686), p. 600 ff.
  6. More details in this mother's house . In: Nürtinger Zeitung , March 24, 2012; about the Hölderlinhaus.
  7. Ursula Brauer: Hölderlin and Susette Gontard. European Publishing House, Hamburg 2002, p. 46.
  8. ^ Fried Lübbecke: Small Fatherland. Homburg vor der Höhe. Kramer, Frankfurt am Main 1956, p. 153.
  9. Jann E. Schlimme, Uwe Gonther: Holderlin's treatment in the Tübingen clinic . In: Uwe Gonther, Jann E. Schlimme (Ed.): Hölderlin and psychiatry . Writings of the Hölderlin Society, Vol. 25. Psychiatrie-Verlag, Bonn 2010: pp. 51–110; here p. 62 ff.
  10. Friedrich Hölderlin: Complete works, letters and documents . Bremen edition, ed. by DE Sattler, Vol. 12. Munich 2004, p. 10; see. also Uwe Jens Wandel: 500 years Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen 1477–1977 . University Library Tübingen 1977, p. 175.
  11. Jann E. Schlimme, Uwe Gonther: Holderlin's treatment in the Tübingen clinic . In: Uwe Gonther, Jann E. Schlimme (Ed.): Hölderlin and psychiatry . Writings of the Hölderlin Society, Vol. 25. Psychiatrie-Verlag, Bonn 2010: pp. 51–110; here p. 104 ff.
  12. Uwe Gonther: Hölderlin's “Wahnsinn” as part of the history of reception. Foundations of the controversy . In: Uwe Gonther, Jann E. Schlimme (Ed.): Hölderlin and psychiatry . Writings of the Hölderlin Society, Vol. 25. Psychiatrie-Verlag, Bonn 2010: pp. 132-139.
  13. ^ Georg Wolfgang Wallner, Uwe Gonther: Hölderlin in Tübingen. Symptoms and attempt at analysis . In: Uwe Gonther, Jann E. Schlimme (Ed.): Hölderlin and psychiatry . Writings of the Hölderlin Society, Vol. 25. Psychiatrie-Verlag, Bonn 2010: pp. 111–129.
  14. Jacky Carl-Joseph Paul: “The German spirit is poor. More secret meaning. ”Hölderlin: A reply . Athena-Verlag, Oberhausen 2011, p. 242 f.
  15. ^ Georg Wolfgang Wallner, Uwe Gonther: Hölderlin in Tübingen . Symptoms and attempt at analysis. In: Uwe Gonther, Jann E. Schlimme (Ed.): Hölderlin and psychiatry . Writings of the Hölderlin Society, Vol. 25. Psychiatrie-Verlag, Bonn 2010: pp. 111–129.
  16. Friedrich Hölderlin: Complete works, letters and documents . Bremen edition, ed. by DE Sattler, Vol. 12. Munich 2004, p. 41.
  17. Wolfgang Emmerich: Holderlin's latest poems and concern for themselves . In: Uwe Gonther, Jann E. Schlimme (Ed.): Hölderlin and psychiatry . Writings of the Hölderlin Society, Vol. 25. Psychiatrie-Verlag, Bonn 2010: pp. 263–283.
  18. Christoph Theodor Schwab : Hölderlin's life . In: Christoph Theodor Schwab (ed.): Friedrich Hölderlin's all works. Second volume. Estate and biography . JG Cotta, Stuttgart / Tübingen 1846, pp. 265–333.
  19. Jochen Schmidt: Friedrich Hölderlin, Complete Works and Letters in Three Volumes . Ed .: Jochen Schmidt. tape 1 . Frankfurt am Main 1992, p. 487 .
  20. ^ Schmidt: Friedrich Hölderlin. Volume 1, p. 499.
  21. ^ Stephan Wackwitz: Friedrich Hölderlin . 2nd Edition. Stuttgart 1997, p. 144 .
  22. ^ Schmidt: Friedrich Hölderlin . tape 1 , p. 499 .
  23. ^ Schmidt: Friedrich Hölderlin . tape 1 , p. 500 .
  24. ^ Schmidt: Friedrich Hölderlin . tape 1 , p. 500 .
  25. ^ Schmidt: Friedrich Hölderlin . tape 2 , p. 940 .
  26. ^ Schmidt: Friedrich Hölderlin . tape 2 , p. 277-445 .
  27. ^ Schmidt: Friedrich Hölderlin . tape 2 , p. 849-857, 913-921 .
  28. ^ Schmidt: Friedrich Hölderlin . tape 2 , p. 562 f .
  29. ^ Schmidt: Friedrich Hölderlin . tape 2 , p. 553-559 .
  30. ^ Schmidt: Friedrich Hölderlin . tape 2 , p. 527-552 .
  31. ^ Press comments: Basler Zeitung , FAZ on: FHA 7/8: Gesänge I and 2 , Stroemfeld Verlag
  32. The chants from the manuscript . (PDF; 21 kB) In: NZZ , January 19, 2002.
  33. Apollonian and Dionysian is originally from Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling positioned and later by Friedrich Nietzsche popularized pair of terms , which in the course of the discourse on Hölderlin general terminology was spreading.
  34. ^ Johann Thun: "Together in a free league": On criticism of the state and anarchy in Friedrich Hölderlin and some of his recipients . In: Kellermann Kellermann (ed.): Ne znam: Journal for Research on Anarchism . No. 2 . Edition AV, Lich 2015, ISBN 3-86841-153-4 .
  35. Bettine von Arnim : The Günderode . Epistle novel. 1840 (digitized version and full text vol. 1 , vol. 2 )
  36. Uwe Gonther: Hölderlin's “Wahnsinn” as part of the history of reception. Foundations of the controversy . In: Uwe Gonther, Jann E. Schlimme (Ed.): Hölderlin and psychiatry . Writings of the Hölderlin Society, Vol. 25. Psychiatrie-Verlag, Bonn 2010. pp. 132-139.
  37. Klaus Schonauer: Holderlin's Echo. Psychiatry, language criticism and the gaits of subjectivity . Münster 1993. See also: Klaus Schonauer: Germanistic-psychiatric interpretation rivalry around Hölderlin in the first instance: Wilhelm Lange and Norbert von Hellingrath . In: Uwe Gonther, Jann E. Schlimme (Ed.): Hölderlin and psychiatry. Writings of the Hölderlin Society, vol. 25. Psychiatrie-Verlag, Bonn 2010. pp. 140–176, here p. 157.
  38. ^ Wilhelm Lange: Hölderlin. A pathography . Enke, Stuttgart 1909.
  39. Klaus Schonauer: Germanistic-psychiatric interpretation rivalry around Hölderlin in the first instance: Wilhelm Lange and Norbert von Hellingrath . In: Uwe Gonther, Jann E. Schlimme (Ed.): Hölderlin and psychiatry . Writings of the Hölderlin Society, Vol. 25. Psychiatrie-Verlag, Bonn 2010, pp. 140–176, here p. 151 f.
  40. Karl Jaspers : Strindberg and van Gogh. Attempt of a pathographic analysis with comparative use of Swedenborg and Holderlin . Piper, Bern 1922, p. 128.
  41. Jann E. Schlimme: Karl Jaspers. Pathography between “genetic understanding” and illuminating existence . In: Uwe Gonther. Jann E. Schlimme: Holderlin and psychiatry . Writings of the Hölderlin Society, Vol. 25. Psychiatrie-Verlag, Bonn 2010. pp. 177–193. See also the work of Uwe Henrik Peters: Hölderlin. Against the thesis of the noble simulator . Rowohlt, Reinbek / Hamburg 1982 and Helm Stierlin: Nietzsche, Hölderlin and the crazy . Carl Auer, Heidelberg 1992.
  42. ^ Rudolf Treichler: The mental illness of Friedrich Hölderlin in its relation to his poetic work. In: Journal for the whole of neurology and psychiatry , December 1936, Vol. 155, No. 1, 40–144; here p. 40 f.
  43. ^ Pierre Bertaux: Friedrich Hölderlin. A biography . Frankfurt / Main 1978.
  44. ^ Gregor Wittkop: Hölderlin. The foster son. Texts and documents 1806–1843, with the newly discovered Nürtingen guardianship files . Stuttgart / Weimar 1993.
  45. Cf. Uwe Gonther, Jann E. Schlimme: Hölderlin or the question of the meaning of the psychotic . In: Advances in Neurology and Psychiatry , 2009, 77, pp. 160–165.
  46. Christian Oester Sandfort: immanent poetics and poetic Dietetics in Hölderlin tower seal . Tübingen 2006. Wolfgang Emmerich: Hölderlin's latest poems and the concern for themselves . In: Uwe Gonther, Jann E. Schlimme (Ed.): Hölderlin and psychiatry . Writings of the Hölderlin Society, vol. 25. Psychiatrie-Verlag, Bonn 2010, pp. 263–283.
  47. ^ Review of the historical-critical edition: Die Gesänge aus der Manschrift. At the end of the Frankfurt Hölderlin edition . (PDF; 22 kB) In: NZZ , January 19, 2002, 3 pp.
  48. "Friedrich-Hölderlin-Prize of the University and the University City of Tübingen" ( Memento of the original from October 10, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  49. Hölderlinring Awards
  50. Lotte Burkhardt: Directory of eponymous plant names . Extended Edition. Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, Free University Berlin Berlin 2018. [1]
  51. Minor Planet Circ. 33795
  52. ^ Film website for the Hölderlin trilogy
  53. Page on the film ( Memento of the original from July 1, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  54. Press release of the Beethovenfest Bonn on the world premiere in 2009 (PDF; 261 kB)
  55. The LiederNet Archive lists 286 settings of 144 texts - including the lyrics - at:
  56. See also: Roseline Bonnellier: De "Hölderlin et la question du père" à la "théorie de la séduction généralisée" de Jean Laplanche : Avancée paradoxale de la traduction d ' Œdipe en psychanalyse. Württemberg State Library, Holderlin Archive. International Hölderlin bibliography online ID no .: 26088052007.0170-1.2. 2007.0171-1 / 3. Electronic resource. [Bonnellier], Paris 2007. 1 CD-ROM (1041 pages) + synopsis [Auspr., 18 pages] Zugl .: Paris, Univ. Paris XIII, Diss., 2007, MS Word . In the HA also as a hard copy (3 volumes) [HA2007.0171-1 / 3] . Thèse également reproduite par l'Atelier National de Reproduction des Thèses (Diffusion ANRT), 59046 Lille Cedex France, ISBN 978-2-7295-7070-5 ,

  1. Lotte Burkhardt: Directory of eponymous plant names . Extended Edition. Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, Free University Berlin Berlin 2018. [2]